Ready, set, harvest!

We began 2018 with a visit from our Australian partner, Carlos Fernandez de Caleya, from CF Coffee Aus, who came down to check our current harvest and a potential new family partner farm.

Our first stop, Pastoría Farm, located an hour outside Guatemala City, in Barberena, within the state of Santa Rosa. There we meet with Enrique, who manages the farm. Pastoría is a rainforest alliance certified farm, which won 2nd place at Illy’s cupping of Guatemalan Coffee, for its Cuscatleco varietal.

We visited mid-harvest, so we were able to review all of the production, washing, and de-pulping, and drying process. The farm plantations altitude reaches 1,000 meters above sea level at its highest point, and aside from their signature Cuscatleco bean, they also grow Catimor, 51-75 Lempira, and Sarchimor. We also visited their amazing Almácigo (nursery), where we found a great variety of soldiers, both for future harvest as well as trials.

We then endured an 11-hour roundtrip voyage to our farm, Pachilha. Located approximately 236 km away from Guatemala City, in the northern State of Alta Verapaz; bordering the region of Cobán, known for its excellent coffee. The farm welcomed us with a muddy, narrow road, quite a challenge for Braulio, our mighty pilot – who had to face an eventual even more daunting task.

Erwin, the farm manager, welcomed us and gave Carlos the tour. At Pachilha, we grow a proprietary Red Catuai varietal, known as Guapa, which means beautiful in Spanish – a rust-resistant bean. This seed has a screen size ranging from 16 to 21. The rust-resistant quality of our seeds has allowed the farm to operate as a pesticide-free coffee farm.

While the weather was mainly warm throughout the country, the microclimates found in the region of Alta Verapaz had left the terrain wet. When we attempted to visit the highest part of plantation, which reaches as high as 1,400 meters above sea level, our car got in the mud, and started sliding against the wall! Luckily, Erwin and his team, helped Braulio manage the slippery situation.

Lastly, we cupped the current harvest from Pastoría, Pachilha, San Juan, San Ignacio, and Ticachu, the last 4, all owned by our families and sold through Blue Mayan Coffee; you’ll learn more about each farm very soon.

Raul Rodas, World Champ barista from 2012, and his team at Paradigma Coffee Roasters, helped us analyze and savor the current harvest. After the intense 2-day visit, Carlos left back to Australia, and hopefully, not far behind, San Juan, San Ignacio, and Tichachu, will be joining Pachilha in an Australian Coffee Shop near you!